Tag: USASA

Final Competitions!

Once again, I find myself at the end of the competition season. I competed in a total of 11 competitions this season, trying out slopestyle as a secondary event this year, and even one rail jam, because why not? I finished my last comps of the season at Crested Butte, with three boardercrosses. I ended up finishing top 3 all three days, and obtaining my first three USASA medals, which I was extremely excited about. I finished third on Friday and Saturday, and then improved to take the silver medal on Sunday. I raced against some really good competitors, and it was overall a great time. In this post, I’m going to go through each competition of mine from this season and write a bit about them all.
Copper Slopestyle – January 8th 

Best Run – 50/50, Backside 360, Front Shifty Roast Beef, Straight Air, 50/50

My original plan for the competition season was to wait until boardercross comps finished, then participate in one or two slopestyle events. That changed when, after I saw the fun that everyone had in the New Years Eve Rail Jam, I decided to scrap that plan and enter the first slope event of the season on January 8th. I kept my run pretty basic, throwing a backside 360 as my best trick. I ended up placing 11th out of 16, scoring a 39.3. It was a fun experience, trying something new and getting to perform a few of my tricks under pressure. Ultimately, it made me decide to do the rest of the Rocky Mountain Series slopestyle comps, and I don’t regret that in the slightest.

Copper Slopestyle – January 22nd

Best Run: 50/50, Frontside 360 Mute, Backside 360, Front Shifty Nose, 50/50 Front 180 out

Naturally, after the fun I had during the first slopestyle comp, I couldn’t just not do another. I decided to do the next slopestyle comp, and with all the practice I had put in, my trick list had grown, and I think that was evident in my performance. On my first run, I landed hard on my back, but I pulled myself together to put down a solid second run. I finished 9th out of 17, with an improved score of 44.3.

Ski Cooper BoarderX Weekend 1 – January 28/29th

 

After the second slope event, I began to prepare Ski Cooper Boardercross. I had just ordered a new Donek Saber (race board), but it didn’t arrive in time for the first comps. The first two competitions didn’t go very well – I took 9th out of 16 on both days, getting eliminated in the quarterfinals by taking third. Not much else happened besides that, and it wasn’t until the second weekend where things got more interesting for me.

Ski Cooper BoarderX Weekend 2 – February 4/5th

On the second weekend of racing, I was prepared. I had my Donek, I had a good wax, and I had run the course through many times previously. On the first day, I didn’t make it out of my first heat (the semifinals), and raced in the consolation final (video above), taking second in that race. Overall, I placed 6th/9. The next day, which was also the last day of racing at Ski Cooper, I successfully made it out of my heat to go to the finals, where I was in third for most of the race but fell on the last turn and took 4th out of 9 overall.

Howelsen Hill Rail Jam – February 18th

I laugh to myself when I think of participating in this one. Honestly, looking back, I wish I hadn’t competed, because I was totally unprepared for a Rail Jam. In the past weeks leading up to this comp, I probably spent 30 minutes on rails, total. I fell multiple times, and didn’t really have a noteworthy run. I’d say it was a good experience, but I don’t plan on doing any ever again, unless it’s next year’s New Years Eve Jam. For anyone who wants to know, I finished a solid 10th/10.

Keystone Slopestyle – February 25th

Best Run: 50/50, Straight Air, Frontside 360 Mute, Backside 360, Front 180

Now, this one was a fun comp. I decided to do the last Rocky Mountain Series slopestyle, and I’m so glad I did. I’d had practice on Keystone’s jumps, and I put down a solid first run, and was in fifth after the first run. I decided to go for it on my second run, attempting to go front lipslide, frontside 540, half cab, backside 360, with a frontside 540 on the quarterpipe. I’d never spun on the first jump before, but I decided since it was my last slopestyle, why not just go for it? I ended up overrotating the 540 to almost 720, and slipping out. Overall, it was an awesome comp to participate in, but not landing my second run put me in 10th overall. If I had to do it over again, however, I’d still attempt that same second run, because if doing what I usually do isn’t going to get me near the top 5, why not risk something that could?

Crested Butte BoarderX – March 3/4/5th

 

Now, these final competitions really made me feel like all my boardercross work throughout the season payed off. I raced hard, and obtained medals on all three days. On the first day, I had 6 people in my age group, and I qualified out of my first heat to the finals, where I took third. The next day, I again took third (out of 7), with the day going pretty much the exact same as the previous. The final day, after my parents had left and I was staying with my friend Matthew (who was also competing with me), I made finals once again, but this time finishing second, taking the silver medal. The course was pretty intense, but it was nice to have a harder course to race on, as opposed to Ski Cooper where it was basically the first to the end of the start won the race.

Thanks for reading/watching this post! I hope you enjoyed my reflections on my competitions, and as always, you can check out all my competition videos as well as some other of my snowboarding videos on my alternate YouTube Channel, GabeShreds.

Nationals begins in less than a week, and I’m super stoked for it! 

Shredding the Gnar!

Shredding the Gnar!

“What is the gnar?”, you may ask, skeptically. Well, I’m glad you asked, personified figment of my imagination whose only purpose is to serve as an intro to this blog post. After writing that “Reflections on 2016” blog post, I was pretty much done with writing for a while, but now, I figured I have something to write about, so why not write about it?

Anyways, back to the question. What is ‘the gnar’? Gnar, in literal terms, can be used both as an adjective and a noun (ex. “That was gnar!”, or “We totally shredded the gnar!”), and means, in very vague terms (the noun version), the surface on which you shred, usually on a snowboard, skis, or a skateboard (in this case, I use it to describe what I’ve been doing recently). The adjective form of gnar, exemplified by the example above, can be roughly translated to mean awesome, cool, or totally radical, but I don’t use that form much.

But how have I been shredding the gnar? In many ways, believe me. Last week, I competed in what was my first slopestyle competition, which was an exhilarating experience. I was extremely nervous coming up to the practice start, preparing to start attempting to land tricks that I would put in my actual runs, and watching all the other competitors in my age group throw their tricks. I tried to block out everyone else and just focus on myself, which was a bit hard due to there being tons and tons of people around me, each trying to nail their respective runs.

In practice, I landed some backside 360’s, hit my grabs that I planned to throw in the comp, and landed an awesome run (frontside 540 to cab 180 to tweaked out nose grab) that didn’t end up getting put into my run because I hadn’t mastered my front 540’s well enough to attempt in competition. My actual competition run consisted of a 50/50 (which is the most basic trick possible on a rail) to backside 360 on the first jump, followed by a front-shifty Roast Beef grab on the second jump to a nose grab on the third jump, finished with a mediocre backside boardslide on the last rail. The first run went pretty bad, because I took too many speed checks and hit the knuckle of the first jump, slowing me down drastically for the rest of the jumps, but the second run (in my opinion) improved greatly, bringing up my score 5 points from a 34.3 to a 39.3, which put me in 11th place. I wasn’t extremely happy with the result, especially since I was in 6th after the first run, but then got bumped down because all the amazing riders that fell on their first run, putting me ahead of them, landed their second runs. Here’s a video of my first run:

Yesterday was one of my favorite days of the season. We built a jump into some soft snow (although it was hard to land anything off of it), and threw backflips off of it! To top it all off, the run down from the spot we were flipping at was the perfect place to race, and I raced several of my teammates many times. I was the only one to have actually landed a backflip (albeit after I had crashed several times), and I now feel ready to take it back to the park and try it off some bigger jumps. I was fortunate enough to have my coach Kirsten there to take a video of me, so thanks a ton for that! Here it is, and as always, you can view more videos on my snowboarding YouTube Channel, on which I don’t usually post much, it’s more of a storage spot for my videos that I want to share out.

So that was just a quick recap of the most important and fun days from the past week, and I should probably be getting back to doing homework. I have another slopestyle coming up, and Ski Cooper boardercross is less than two weeks away! These next three weeks are sure to be jam-packed with tons of action, so I’ll be ready to record some video and write some more!

Boardercross at Crested Butte!

So, I just got back from competing at Crested Butte, and I had a great time. I’m nervously waiting to see if I get a nationals invitation, because I’m right on the edge of the amount of people invited. We all competed on Friday and Saturday, and I decided to stay with a friend and got to compete on Sunday.

On Friday, Jadyn got first out of three, and Isaac got sixth out of seven, making what he called the “sketchiest pass ever”, passing one person and putting him in sixth. After taking last in the time trials, I made it out of the quarterfinals, and into semifinals. I lost in the semifinals, and then in the consolation finals, everyone crashed, and I got hit off-course, which made me end up in last, taking 8th out of 9 overall.

Isaac's Time Trial
Isaac’s Time Trial

At awards afterwards, we won some cool stuff in the giveaway. Jadyn even got picked for the new Never Summer Swift snowboard! Isaac won a windbreaker jacket, which is about three sizes too big, but that didn’t stop him from wearing it a few days ago when we went out snowskating (he looked like a balloon :P)

Jadyn winning the snowboard
Jadyn winning the snowboard

On Saturday, I’m just going to say that we did worse than Friday 😛 Isaac and I both took last place, which sucked, and Jadyn placed second out of three. At the giveaway, I won a cool rainbow neck gator/face mask, and a extra small shirt, which I gave to Jadyn 😛 Isaac won some socks too, and after the awards, my parents and siblings left and I went up to my friend Kurt’s hotel room, and we waxed and edged our boards. After that, we went to the pool and hung out with all our competitors and played around with a football.

Me in my time trial on Sunday
Me in my time trial on Sunday

The next morning on Sunday, we got woken up super early by a fire alarm, which was annoying, because it was a false alarm… But anyways, we went straight to the boardercross course afterwards, and the 30 minutes extra sleep we could’ve had didn’t bother us for the rest of the day. In the semifinals, I was neck and neck with a competitor, both of us fighting for a spot in the finals. I ended up losing by a board length, and got put in the consolation. By now it had started snowing, not to mention a fog cloud ominously moving in… We basically couldn’t see anything. It started clearing up before the final, but everyone was still going SUPER slow. I was in second for most of the consolation final, but saw my chance, cut in, and won it, placing me in 5th overall.

I had a great time competing, and while it’s not probable I’m going to get a nationals invitation, I’m still hoping for one. I ended up in 95th out of 210 people in the Youth Men (14-15) age group for the season.